Pepper - An extremely hot chile pepper with
short, squatted shape, usually orange in color.
It has a fruity flavor and is best in the summer
Half and Half - A mixture of half cream
and half milk (fat content is 10 - 12%).
Halibut - The largest member of the flatfish
family, found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans,
with lean, white, firm, mild-flavored flesh.
Halvah - A Middle Eastern confection made
from ground sesame seeds and honey. Sometimes
dried fruit or other ingredients are added. Halvah
is available in wrapped bars in most supermarkets.
Ham Hock - The lower portion of a hog's
hind leg, usually used to flavor soups, greens,
beans, and stews.
Hard-Ball Stage - A test used in making
candy describing the rigid ball formed when a
drop of boiling sugar water syrup is dropped in
Hard-Crack Stage - A test used in making
cand describing brittle threads formed when a
drop of boiling sugar water syrup is dropped in
Hard Tack Rolling Pin - A rolling pin used
when making hard unleavened breads.
Hard Wheat - Wheat high in protein and well-suited
for bread-making because it produces flour that
is rich in gluten.
Haricot Verts - Tiny, slender green string
Harina - All-purpose flour.
Harira - A thick and robust North African
Harissa - A combination of spices containing
chilli that is ground with cumin, garlic, coriander,
and olive oil.
Hartshorn - Known as ammonium bicarbonate
and used as a levening agent before baking powder
and baking soda were readily available.
Hash - A dish containing chopped potatoes,
meat, and other vegetables.
Hasty Pudding - A simple dish of cornmeal
mush made with water or milk and sweetened with
molasses, maple syrup or honey. Wheat flour is
used in England instead of cornmeal. Hasty pudding
is served hot, sometimes dotted with butter and
sprinkled with cinnamon then placed under a broiler
until brown, or with milk or cream; makes a quick
breakfast or simple dessert. Also known as Indian
Haute Cuisine - French term for the highest
quality restaurant food available. The ingredients
in this cuisine are not only of the finest quality,
but the food is elegant and elaborate as well.
Havarti Cheese - A mild, semisoft Danish cheese
that is pale yellow and has small irregular holes.
It becomes sharper as it matures.
Hazelnut Oil - An aromatic, full-flavored
oil pressed from hazelnuts; has the strong, distinct
flavor of the roasted nut.
Head Cheese - Despite its name, this is a
sausage, not a cheese product. Head cheese is
made of finely chopped meat from the head of a
calf or pig. The meat is seasoned and cooked in
a gelatinous broth and molded.
Headspace - Space left at the top of a
container to allow for the expansion of food when
frozen or processed.
Herb Bouquet - A mixture of tied herbs
used for seasoning in soups, sauces, and stocks.
Herbes de Provence - A French term for
a mixture of dried herbs, usually containing basil,
marjoram, rosemary, sage, summer savory, lavender,
thyme, and fennel seed.
Herbs - Diverse flavorings that are made
of stems, leaves, flowers and seeds of various
plants. Most herbs are available both fresh and
Herkimer Cheese - Smooth, cheddar-like
cheese, named after the county in New York where
it was first produced.
Hermit - An old-fashioned cookie that contains
chopped dates, raisins, nuts, and molasses or
Herring - A large family of fish found around
the world. Herring are silver-blue in color, have
a moderately high fat content, and are fairly
strong in flavor. Their average market size is
about 8 ounces.
High Altitude Baking - Because of lower
air pressure, baking at elevations of 3,000 or
more feet above sea level requires special adjustments.
The USDA has the following guidelines: at 3,000
feet decrease the amount of baking powder called
for in a recipe by 1/8 teaspoon; at 5,000 feet
decrease by 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon; and at 7,000
feet decrease by ¼ teaspoon. Reducing the
amount of sugar by 1 to 3 tablespoons may also
be helpful. Melting butter or chocolate in microwave
ovens can also take a few seconds longer at higher
altitudes. Region-specific guidelines may be available
from your state department of agriculture.
High Fiber - A food containing 5 grams
or more of fiber per serving.
Hog Jowl - The fatty cheek of a hog that
is smoked and cured. Used as as a seasoning like
bacon or salt pork.
Hoisin, Peking Sauce - Sweet and spicy
sauce made from soybeans, garlic, chiles and a
variety of spices. Hoisin is used as a condiment
and flavoring in Chinese cuisines. Can be purchased
Hollandaise Sauce - A sauce made from egg
yolks and butter and flavored with lemon juice
Homard - French term for lobster.
Hominy - Dried yellow or white corn kernels
with the hull and germ removed. Served as a side
dish and used in some Mexican stews.
Homogenization - A process used to break
down the fat globules in milk and distribute them
evenly throughout the liquid. This is done by
spinning the milk at very high speeds through
an ultra-fine mesh. Commercial salad dressings
often are similarly processed to emulsify the
Honey - A thick, sweet liquid made by bees
from flower nectar and stored in the cells of
the hive for food. Used as a sweetner.
Honeydew Melon - Honeydews are bluntly
oval in shape and weigh anywhere from 4 pounds
to 8 pounds. Their rind is yellowish-white and
a creamy color indicates ripeness. These fruits
are available almost year-round.
Hopping John, Hoppin' John - A southern
U.S. dish of black-eyed peas and white rice seasoned
with ham hock.
Hops - A vining plant of Europe and Asia
that produces conelike flowers and tender edible
sprouts. The flowers are dried and are used to
give the slightly bitter taste to beer.
Hors d'Oeuvre - Small, bite-size foods
served as an appetizer.
Horseradish - An ancient bitter herb. Originally
grown in eastern Europe, horseradish can be used
in a variety of ways. The spiky leaves can be
used in salads, while the white pungent root is
most often grated and used in sauces or as a condiment.
Sauce - A seasoning sauce containing chile
peppers, salt and vinegar.
Hubbard Squash - A very large winter squash
with a thick, bumpy, hard shell ranging in color
from dark green to bright orange.
Huckleberry - A wild, dark blue berry
with hard seeds which resembles the blueberry.
They can be eaten plain or baked in in pies and
Huevos Rancheros - A Mexican dish that
contains fried eggs on a corn tortilla topped
by a green or red chile sauce, salsa, onions and
Hull - To remove the leafy parts of fruits
such as strawberries, blackberries or raspberries.
Hummus - Also spelled "humus" and
"houmus." Middle Eastern dish made from
mashed chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed butter),
olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Can be used
as a sandwich filling, spread or dip.
Hushpuppy - A small, fried cornmeal dumpling,
flavored with chopped green onion. Hushpuppies
are a traditional southern U.S. accompaniment
to fried catfish and slaw.
Hydrogenated Fats - Fats that have gone
through hydrogenation to prolong their shelf life.
Trans-fatty acids that are created by this process
act like saturated fats, thus increasing the cholesterol
production in the body. Hydrogenated fats can
be found in some vegetable oils, margarine and
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil - Oil that has
been modified from a liquid to a solid or semisolid
state through hydrogenation.
Hydrogenation - The process of hardening
an unsaturated fat by adding hydrogen atoms to
an unsaturated fat molecule. This enables the
fat to remain solid at room temperature. Margarine
is a good example.
Hyssop - Various herbs belonging to the